16 July, 2018
Hypermiling is the practice of driving vehicles as efficiently as possible in order to achieve the longest distance possible on one charge/fuel tank. The Tesla Model 3 which was “unmanned” and on Autopilot ran 1001 km, breaking the record.
The new Model 3 record was organized by electric car rental company ‘nextmove’ in Germany this weekend. The key reason why they were able to beat the record is that they did the attempt at the DEKRA testing grounds in Klettwitz, Brandenburg instead of on public roads like the recent previous record.
nextmove Managing Director Stefan Moeller said “Naturally, a test circuit with clear markings, long straights, broad curves and few surprises provides near-ideal conditions for the Tesla autopilot. Admittedly, we did not know in advance whether the autopilot could reach the total distance without fault, even during the night.”
When asked about how they managed to keep Autopilot working, nextmove said “In order to make the autopilot think that there was a person sitting at the wheel, a number of tricks were employed: Stefan Moeller started the car and positioned the aids to imitate a hu- man driver in the Tesla Model 3. Finally, he climbed out of the side window during a brief stop: This ensured that nextmove could reenter the car at any time. So as not to lose any aerodynamics, Moeller taped up the side window. Spacy sat in the driver’s seat but during the night, he slept on a mattress that was placed on the folded-down back seats.”
They ended up driving at 36 km/h for about 28 hours in order to get the record. The company says that the Model 3 consumed about 7 kWh of energy for every 100 kilometers traveled.